ALIGN Members – Procurement Update November 20, 2017

Procurement Update November 20, 2017

Late last week there was an announcement that Campus Based Residential Care will be tendered shortly.  For those of you who provide that service please stay tuned as I am sure you will receive information soon.

I am told that there has been a procurement plan (5 year) placed before the Minister and at this point there is no permission to move forward with anything other than this one area.  I am aware that most of you have contracts that are set to expire on March 31, 2018.

The likelihood is that most of your contracts will be renewed at the same rates.  Some may be able to re-negotiate some terms but for the most part status quo may be the outcome.  I realize that this means no increases in any part of your operation for a long time.

Budget 2018 may not see any changes or increases.  We already have a hint of that with no increases to foster care rates.

As always we will continue to advocate for a plan and for hopeful injections to the wages if nothing else.  We need to have some clear information and in reality you need to be thinking about this already.  If you have NO increases to your contracts and you are aware of the Bill 17 impacts, what will you do in the new fiscal year- i.e.  Do you need to close beds, close programs, are you ok, decrease services and if so what?  It would be very helpful if you can let me know what you think you will need to do if there are no changes of any kind.

I would appreciate if you can let me know what you think will happen and if you have any other impacts starting to creep in, like increasing turnover rates, etc.   This information is very helpful as we strategize a plan to move forward.  If we can we will also make the information available to you so that you can go out and advocate on your or your sectors behalf as we suspect there will be a need for political action.  It is the politicians who are stopping things as treasury board.

Again we are trying to give concrete examples of the impacts of no procurement (negotiations or tenders) and Bill 17.  I need to have that picture from you to share at table with the Ministry officials and the politicians.

Thanks for sharing I look forward to your information and trying to see what we can do to move the financial pendulum.  If you could send me your story or information by November 30 I would appreciate it.

Rhonda Barraclough – ALIGN Executive Director

RhondaB@alignab.ca

Request for ALIGN Member Agencies to Submit Banked OT Hours and Average Salary

November 20, 2017
RE: Bill 17

Bill 17: Alberta’s Fair And Family Friendly Workplaces Act: the new labor code comes into effect January 1, 2018. There are many impacts on your agency and you need to be aware of those. The ALIGN Website has some information and the Ministry of Labor has more. One of largest effects for agencies and specifically anyone who works a 24 hour operation or flexible evening and on call hours will need to consider this:

• You will have to allow employees to take time off in lieu of receiving overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked, as opposed to the previous 1 hour for each hour of overtime.
• There are clear guidelines on how much someone can work in a specified period
• New types of unpaid leaves
• Changes to maternity leaves

There are many other changes your need to make sure you are aware for and are planning for.

Financially the biggest area will be the overtime. We are trying to advocate with the Ministries (CS & CSS) that banked time is a substantial cost and that the agencies cannot shoulder that cost. We have encouraged the Ministry to have a plan in place to compensate agencies for overtime and have explained how this is not just as simple as stopping overtime from happening especially in 24 hour operations and that due to contractual obligations they also can’t just increase the costs – therefore we believe there is a need for a compensation plan on the part of the Ministries.

To help paint a picture for the Deputy Minister of Children Services – Darlene Bouwsema, I need as many folks as possible to let us know their current bank overtime hours in a year and what the average salary for those employees is. I am making a graphic to show the Deputy Ministers. Darlene and Shannon Marchand the Deputy Ministry for Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor Deputy Ministry soon. We have also offered to arrange for them to meet with some of the CFO’s from the agencies and the Ministry to discuss impacts further. At this point we do not know if or when there may be answers. We would like to be able to send a further sample of the overtime impacts at this time because we can at least quantify that number.

Please send a note to me RhondaB@alignab.ca with that information by the end of this week – November 24, 2017

See Related Info

Correspondence from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough November 10, 2017 Re: Bill 17

Correspondence from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough November 10, 2017 Re: Bill 17

By now you are fully aware that as of January 1, 2018 Bill 17 will come into effect.  The new Labor Standards will have an impact on all of you.  We have offered training sessions around the province as have others ( ECVO/CCVO) and I am attaching a link to the Ministry of Labor  website  https://www.alberta.ca/employment-standards-changes.aspx.

Thank you to those of you who were able to figure out your banked time .  We have been able to send that information  to the ministry as an example of the costs that you will incur.  The Deputy Ministers from Children Services and Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor soon.  We hope to hear from them about the issues soon.

I encourage you to make sure you are fully aware of the expectations of the new legislation and prepare for how it will affect your organization.  There are some strict rules about overtime and scheduling time that need to be adhered to and in some cases you will need to make new agreements with your staff, or  you may have to restrict staff flex time and you need to pay out overtime at a higher rate.

I encourage you to review the new legislation and ask questions to the Ministry of Labor.  If there is anything else we can do let me know.  I will keep you up dated as we hear more.

Rhonda Barraclough
Executive Director
rhondab@alignab.ca
Cell:  780.233.5459

See ALIGN Related Resources – Bill 17 – Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act

ALIGN Evaluation Resource Bulletin November 6, 2017

This bulletin highlights organizational, program and client evaluation resources that have been recently added  to our sector evaluation resource directories. See what’s new!

New – The FACTS about ALIGN Association

.
ALIGN Association is please to provide you with a new Fact Sheet Page that provides existing and potential member and or collaborative partners further insights into our associations mission, values and impact

Join Us! ALIGN is Celebrating our 50th Anniversary

50/10 Dinner January 24, 2018 Fantasyland Hotel W.E.M. Edmonton
It’s has been 50 years of serving agencies in Alberta and how far we have come! Starting out as the AASCF in 1968 a small group of sector leaders were inspired to collaborate on better addressing the needs of agencies who serve vulnerable Albertans’ and 50 years later we are still going strong! In additions we are also celebrating our 10th Annual Conference – Building Today, Strengthening Tomorrow. In honour of these  achievements please join us Wednesday evening January 24, 2018 for dinner and entertainment  from 5pm to 9 pm at the Fantasyland Hotel, West Edmonton Mall.

Register Here

The Role of Caregivers in Assessing and Managing Risk Related to Opioid Use – A Tip Sheet

This Tip Sheet that has been developed by a committee representing provincial Children Services , AFPA and ALIGN.

The Role of Caregivers in Assessing and Managing Risk Related to Opioid Use – A Tip Sheet
As a caregiver you are the closest person to the day-to-day activities of a child or youth who may be using opioids. You have a key role on the team who together ensure the tasks in the above diagram occur, plans are implemented and reviewed as circumstances change.

The tip sheet is going out to all the members as agencies have all types of caregivers providing service to children, youth and families. Specific Caregiver Training has also be developed and will be piloted for the fist time at the Alberta Foster Parent Conference this coming weekend. Once feedback is incorporated into the training  the manual will be made available for all to use. I will keep you posted as information becomes available. In the meantime please give the TIP Sheet the widest distribution. Questions can be directed to Cathym@alignab.ca

See Additional or Related Opioid Information

 

ALIGN Presentation Materials Bill 17 Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code

ALIGN Presentation Fall 2017 Bill 17  Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code

ALIGN Presents Bill 17 Presentations – Register Now!
Bill 17 Presentation St. Albert October 5, 2017
Bill 17 Presentation Lethbridge October 20, 2017
Bill 17 Presentation Calgary October 31, 2017
Bill 17 Presentation Red Deer November 2, 2017

Related

Preliminary-Review-of-Bill-17 (Neuman Thompson September 2017)
On May 24, 2017, the provincial government tabled Bill 17, titled the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act. Bill 17 includes a number of significant reforms to two of the most important workplace-related laws in Alberta, being the Alberta Employment Standards Code (the “ESC”), and the Labour Relations Code (the “LRC”). The following is meant to provide a summary of some of the most noteworthy reforms that have been tabled as part of this Bill…

Related

Alberta Government –  Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act,  changes will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

Alberta Employer Advisor Bill 17 – Proposed Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code

ALIGN Annual Report 2016 – 2017

ALIGN is a network of child and family service agencies, all committed to improving the quality of life for Alberta’s most vulnerable children and families. ALIGN promotes research and continuing learning for over 10,000 agency staff across the province while also ensuring policy-makers at all levels of government understand the issues facing Alberta’s children and families. Our mission is to speak with one voice so children, families and communities thrive. What a busy year it’s been! ALIGN maintained its commitment to our members through many continuing and new initiatives with a focus on Professional Development, Advocacy with Government, Promotion of Research Excellence and Healthy Workforce Initiatives.

ALIGN Annual Report 2016 – 2017

ALIGN Executive Director Report – September 2017

Three New Children’s Service Divisions and Three New ADM’s

Correspondence form Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Minister Children’s Services to ALIGN ED Rhonda Barraclough October 2, 2017

As you may know, the creation of Children’s Services provided an opportunity to re-imagine the organization and its structure to achieve the renewed mandate and focus on continuously improving the services provided to children, youth and families.

As part of the evolution of Children’s Services, I am pleased to officially announce that we have identified three Children’s Services-specific divisions and the Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs) who will lead them. Each portfolio will be guided by a leader who has a great respect for the work happening in this ministry, and an unwavering commitment to public service.  I am confident that under their guidance, the Ministry of Children’s Services will be well-positioned for success. Effective October 2, 2017:

  • Gloria Iatridis, ADM will lead the Policy, Innovation and Indigenous Connections Division with responsibility for strategic policy and planning, initiative management (including the Ministerial Panel for Child Intervention), corporate quality assurance and Indigenous and community connections;
  • Mark Hattori, ADM will lead the Family and Community Resiliency Division with responsibility for early intervention and prevention programming, community programs and early childhood programs and the Early Learning and Child Care Centres initiative;
  • And Rae-Ann Lajeunesse, ADM will lead the Child Intervention Division with a singular focus on the child intervention system.

I would like to reiterate that no ongoing work will be interrupted. The Ministry of Children’s Services will continue to focus on priorities including the work happening across the province to serve families, the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention and affordable, quality, accessible child care offered through Early Learning and Child Care Centres

There will be no lay-offs as a result of changes and our staff remain committed to serving Albertans. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please do not hesitate to contact my office, otherwise Assistant Deputy Ministers and their staff will be in touch as part of their regular business with your organization.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment and partnership.

Darlene Bouwsema Deputy Minister Children’s Services

ALIGN Leadership Bursary

Bursary Application

ALIGN Agency Leadership Development Bursary
The ALIGN Leadership Bursary program is offering agencies a bursary up to $5,000.00 towards Agency Leadership Development. We will choose on a first come first serve bases and can offer up to $5,000.00 per agency.

Criteria:
• You don’t have to be members
• Agency to send a short (no more than 2 pages) outline of their plan including the cost, and goals that you intend to achieve.
• When activities are complete report back as to how many people in your agency received the training and how it met your goals Process:
•Fill in the  Bursary Application and attach your proposal
• Send that to masumaa@alignab.ca or rhondab@alignab.ca 
• You will receive a response back to your request within 2 weeks of receiving the request

ALIGN Leadership Bursary for Non-Accredited Programs
The purpose of the Leadership Bursary is to foster future leadership capacity by enabling senior organizational leaders to participate in formal education
and professional development programs that enhance their ability to lead their organization and the field. The focus will be to develop or enhance leadership
skills and innovation in service delivery and development, human resource management, organizational excellence and fiscal management. Tuition costs for
non-accredited programs  are a max. $5,000 and do not cover travel costs. This bursary can be granted throughout the year. This can be a course, workshop, conference etc. but must be leadership focused. The application form must be filled in and signed and then we need the course outline and costs but not all the other information as per the leadership bursary above.

Purpose
The purpose of the Leadership Bursary is to foster future leadership capacity by enabling senior organizational leaders to participate in formal education and professional development programs that enhance their ability to lead their organization and the field. The focus will be to develop or enhance leadership skills and innovation in service delivery and development, human resource management, organizational excellence and fiscal management.

Eligibility Requirements
For all bursaries, applicants must:
– Currently work as a senior staff member in a supervisory leadership role
– Work in a Non-Government Organization (NGO) whose primary responsibility is
to serve clients through the service delivery system
– Have worked in this organization a minimum of one year
– Be employed by an organization/agency that is contracted to provide services
in the Human Services Sector by the government of Alberta through Alberta
Children & Youth Support Services or Disability Supports.
– Have submitted the bursary application before starting a program or course of
study along with provisional acceptance. Final approval to be provided upon
receipt of confirmation of acceptance into selected course of studies
– Demonstrate a prior interest in undertaking credentialed or professional
leadership training
– Complete the attached application form

Organization must:
– Have contracted funding from the Government of Alberta through Alberta
Children & Youth Support Services, Disability Supports.
–  Be responsible for providing services to clients of the above programs through
their service delivery system.

The institution program or course must:
– Be an accredited learning institution
– Provide professional leadership training that will enhance the candidate’s ability
to plan, lead, organize or direct resources
– Be focused on leadership not practice

Eligibility Limitations and General Information for all applicants:
– The committee will strive to ensure the equitable distribution of bursary dollars
that allows for inclusivity, while addressing the high demand and specific needs
of organizations and regions
– Proof of completion and/or attendance of previous semester is required prior to
the payments being made for the next term or level of education
– Where possible, tuition costs will be paid directly to the educational institute with
other eligible costs reimbursed to the candidate or organization upon receipt of
proof of payment
– Maximum amount per bursary (Type 1) will be $10,000.00 per fiscal reporting
period (July 1 to June 30), per person, and per organization to a maximum of
$20,000.00 over 2 years.
– Only one employee per organization will be considered on any given Bursary
selection round. Additional applications from organizations that have offices in a
number of regions may be considered.
-If the funding exists to support the training requests of all applicants who meet
the basic application criteria i.e. both the applicant and Executive Director, CEO
or Board President have provided a personal letter, organizational requirements
are met; an organization chart or equivalent is provided, and the type of training
requested meets criteria for eligibility, bursaries will be allocated without the
requirement for a further detailed analysis of the overall applications
– If the eligible bursary requests exceed the available bursary allotments, further

Exclusions
Those eligible for bursaries provided by Family and Community Support Services, The.
Only one employee per organization per region will qualify on any given Bursary round.

Selection Procedure
A selection committee will meet twice yearly to review applications and to select
successful candidates. All applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision.

 

Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium

Update September 2017

ALIGN has been busy  coordinating an Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium that will be held for Children and Family Serving organizations Leadership on October 23, 2017 at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton. The day will highlight Alberta Indigenous Thought leaders and Knowledge Keepers and how to move knowledge into policy and service delivery. The Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium is intended to enhance indigenous innovations and relationships in child intervention service delivery. Starting in Ceremony, selected Elders, advisors, and service providers will share Indigenous teachings and current practices in work with Indigenous children, families, and individuals. The presentations will showcase specific culturally-based approaches to practice and ceremony with indigenous service users. The day will include teachings from highly respected elders and knowledge keepers in Alberta. Various Alberta-based programs providing culturally appropriate and effective services will be highlighted. The outcome will be that participants will have an opportunity to explore how they can utilize the guidelines and principles in policy development and service delivery. This full day event will be held in ceremony and highlight cultural practices.

 

ALIGN Executive Director Report – September 2017

Thank-you to all of you who attended our AGM in Red Deer on September 29th. It looks like our timing with the weather was right! For those of you who weren’t able to attend – please see the following updates and for those of you who were there, you’ll see I’ve included some recent sector updates and training links not yet available at the AGM.  If you have any questions about these activities or anything else we do at ALIGN please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Rhonda Barraclough
rhondab@alignab.ca
780 233-5459

ALIGN Executive Director Report – September 2017

This is new info we just received! Children’s Services has officially announced that they have identified three Children’s Services-specific divisions and the Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs) Read More

ALIGN has had a very busy spring and fall for 2017.  The Child Intervention Panel began in February 2017 and has been a challenge to stay on top of.  ALIGN has made two presentation to the panel and has been a resource for the panel organizers to get other speakers that fit certain categories. We have also encouraged agencies to submit to the panel recommendations as per the guidelines outlined or just their thoughts in particular areas. All panel deliberations can be heard on the Child Intervention Panel Website, and all submissions made by members can be seen on our ALIGN Website.

Nicole McFadyen (Child Intervention)and  Cathy Mitchell (Occupational Health and Safety, ALIGN Journal and a Mental Health Projects) have settled nicely into their positions and are working well in their areas of interest.  I have recently contracted with a communications specialist to help us with some of our messages, fact sheets, and reports in an effort to get a consistent look and feel to our work.

The ALIGN Board has worked hard on the Strategic Plan and the revisions of the bylaws and board policies. We will be moving forward on the planned direction and approving these activities.

In January 2018, we will be holding our 10th Annual Conference and a 50-year celebration for ALIGN.  We will go down memory lane a bit and have a great celebration. Registration opening later this week.

As government has moved from the Ministry of Humans Services transitioning to 2 Ministries we have had to develop new relationships and understandings of who does what.  There is now the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) and the second is the Ministry of Children Services (MCS).  All child intervention services and the indigenous engagement were moved to the Ministry of Children Services.  The Ministry of Community and Social Services still holds disability services, services for family violence among other service areas and they jointly are responsible for contracting.  ALIGN has met with the Ministers and Deputy Ministers for both Ministries.  Disabilities services also have a new ADM – John Stinson and I will be meeting with him later in October.  In Children Services, the ADM for Child intervention has been Mark Hattori that will change in October to Rae Ann Lajeunesse.  Mark will have a new portfolio.  We have asked to meet with Rae Ann and Mark.

For Child Intervention Services, Jon Reeves and Russ Pickford were appointed as Directors of Child Intervention.  Their role is to align all child intervention services provincially and to get more consistency in how services are provided and received across the province.  Jon serves the area from Leduc south and Russ from Edmonton north.

Procurement, contracting and contracts continue to be a bit of a ambiguous.  We have met with the DM and Minister regarding the need to have contracts move forward.  We were told that in reality little will move until the Child Intervention Panel concludes and makes recommendations.  We continue to advocate that parts of the system still can be procured, or negotiated.
See P.A.T. Final Reports August 2017 and ALIGN updates.

Bill 17 – Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act

Register Now!
ALIGN Presents Bill 17 Presentations – Register Now!

Bill 17 Presentation St. Albert October 5, 2017
Bill 17 Presentation Lethbridge October 20, 2017
Bill 17 Presentation Calgary October 31, 2017
Bill 17 Presentation Red Deer November 2, 2017

Preliminary-Review-of-Bill-17 (Neuman Thompson September 2017)
On May 24, 2017, the provincial government tabled Bill 17, titled the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act. Bill 17 includes a number of significant reforms to two of the most important workplace-related laws in Alberta, being the Alberta Employment Standards Code (the “ESC”), and the Labour Relations Code (the “LRC”). The following is meant to provide a summary of some of the most noteworthy reforms that have been tabled as part of this Bill…

Alberta Government –  Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act,  changes will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

Alberta Employer Advisor Bill 17 – Proposed Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code

Cathy Mitchell and Nicole McFadyen – Updates June 2017- September 2017

Submission Being Accept Now!
Leadership Bursary

We are excited to announce that we can once again offer agency and individual leadership bursaries.  We will not be able to fund academic 2-year bursaries but agency can apply for up to $5,000.00 and individual leaders/supervisors can apply for training, workshops, etc up to $5,000.00.  This is only for the remainder of this fiscal year.

We are now accepting submissions for the spring ALIGN Journal. Our fall Journal will be published and available this month

Mental Health First Aid Grant (MHFA):
Both ALIGN and the AFPA have had the Mental Health First Aid grants extended till March 2018 as there are still funds available. The planning committee met in June 6, 2017 to look at our learning’s from last year and begin planning for 2017-2018 year. We have made arrangements to have Kevin Campbell provide two full days of training to caregivers on the importance of “Family Finding” for the children in their care. One day will occur in Edmonton January 24th and Calgary January 23th. The committee has decided to charge a minimal fee to attend and subsidize child care this year.

A memo was sent out reminding agencies that this funding is only available till the end of March 2018 and to utilize the funds if they have staff that needs the training.

Submissions Being Accept Now!
ALIGN Research Journal:

The 2017 Fall ALIGN Journal is currently with the desk top publisher and will hopefully be on line by the end of September. A focused call for contributions is underway so that we can have an edition for the spring 2018

Register Now!
Health and Safety in the Child and Family Services Sector:

ALIGN continues to be a partner on the research team of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions Project. Join us for the Healthy Workplace Conference Edmonton October 13, 2017  Graham Lowe author of “Creating Healthy Organizations” will be the key note speaker. A second voluntary survey is currently being completed by human services staff to allow for a comparison with the findings of the first survey results of 2 years ago.  The results of this research, surveys and training will be presented at the fall conference.

We met with a representative for the Ministry of Labor in the Partnership Unit in the spring who recommended ALIGN explore the possibility of a collaborative relationship with the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships(AASP) as a Certifying Partner. Conversations with the ED of the AASP have occurred and the plan is to apply jointly for grant funding from the Ministry of Labor to provide interested agencies with a series of training sessions (referred to as “The Roadmap to COR”) to obtain a Certificate of Recognition. Concurrently we will meet with agencies who have successfully obtained their COR and see what we can learn from them to pass on to other agencies.

We have also begun researching information on the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.  We think there is other work that can be done and agencies can benefit from that is not to the extreme of COR yet may help with WCB rates.  That will be developed over the next 6 months.

Opioid Strategy:
ALIGN has continued to sit on a working group with the Children’s Services Opioid strategy as it pertains to all caregivers (agency and provincial). Information sheets and a training manual have been developed and is currently being reviewed by ministry staff. Once approved, this information will be provided to all agencies and caregivers.

Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF):
Child Intervention Practice committee is presently reviewing how to create consistencies and best practice provincially through the below initiatives. This committee consists of Regional managers. ALIGN and the AFPA.
Also See Child Intervention Review Panel

Collaborative Service Delivery (CSD):
Recently through many different discussions it has become clear that there is some confusion among organizations regarding the understanding of the term Collaborative Services Delivery (CSD).  CSD is intended to be an approach in delivering services to Alberta Children and Families under the umbrella of the Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF). This approach is being achieved but limited to initiatives such as; the Foundation of Caregiver Support, CSD lead sites, Family Finding and Signs of Safety. Collaborative Service Delivery Leads Table are meeting to discuss future direction of the table.

Foundation of Caregiver Support (FCS):
The Committee is in the process of reviewing the recently released Review of literature with the focus on Aboriginal Peoples and Communities – Trauma, Child Development, Healing and Resilience. The expectation is that organizations in Alberta serving child, youth and families must be Trauma Informed along with understanding Child Brain Development and stress. This is the foundational work for the 101 training that will come out this upcoming year.

The definition of Trauma Informed Care has 4 common elements; Trauma Awareness, Emphasis on Safety, Rebuild Control for person served and the approach is Strength Based. There are many ways for Organizations and their programs to make sure they are meeting these common elements in all the work they do.

Provincial Trauma Training Group
Presently, there is a small Provincial Trauma training working group-Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Care Centre, ALIGN, Palix Foundation and Children Services are working on sharing approaches for knowledge immobilization and how to best support embedding it into practice across the Province.  There is an environmental scan of what types of Trauma Informed Training   are currently happening across sectors, and ministries in Alberta with hopes to develop a training navigation resource.

Save The Date!
Family Finding:

Children Services will be bringing Kevin Campbell the Family Finding trainer across the province in 2018, to provide a 4 day boot-camps again and mentoring to help build provincial capacity. We are currently discussing how to bring youth and lifelong networks to Alberta with Kevin. Kevin will also be facilitating 2 workshops at the ALIGN annual conference in January and  will also be be providing 2 – 1-day workshops for Caregivers in Edmonton January 24th and Calgary January 23th.  Family Finding is an excellent approach to bringing Trauma Informed knowledge into practice, aligning with the Signs of Safety and building resiliency in children through building lifelong networks.

Signs of Safety Working Group:
Signs of Safety working group.  Children Services has implemented Signs of Safety 2-day Provincial Delegation training. The working group is looking at how to implement a plan that insures all current CS staff also receive the 2-day Provincial training, whether or not they have had previous training in the past. This is to ensure everyone has received the same provincial specific training.  A 1-day training has been developed for agency partners and caregivers. The committee is in the process of developing a plan to offer the training provincially

Early Intervention – Prevention and Early Intervention Framework:
ALIGN has recently had discussions with the Ministry about agency input in to the refresh of the Prevention and Early Intervention Prevention Framework.

ALIGN Indigenous Advisory Group:
The ALIGN Indigenous Advisory Group reconvened in the Fall of 2016 in order to gain some guidance in planning for the upcoming year. Some of the current recommendations that we are working on are:

  • It was suggested that we convene a circle of government decision makers and others to share what is being done in the research and community sectors.
  • To bring together a group who has a strong understanding of Trauma and Inter-Generational Trauma to help guide the next step process.
  • A lot of Agencies have found ways that work for families and we should help highlight these approaches.

Register Now!

Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium
ALIGN has been busy  coordinating an Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium  that will be held for Children and Family Serving organizations Leadership on October 23, 2017 at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton. The day will highlight Alberta Indigenous Thought leaders and Knowledge Keepers and how to move knowledge into policy and service delivery. The Indigenous Thought Leader Symposium is intended to enhance indigenous innovations and relationships in child intervention service delivery. Starting in Ceremony, selected Elders, advisors, and service providers will share Indigenous teachings and current practices in work with Indigenous children, families, and individuals. The presentations will showcase specific culturally-based approaches to practice and ceremony with indigenous service users. The day will include teachings from highly respected elders and knowledge keepers in Alberta. Various Alberta-based programs providing culturally appropriate and effective services will be highlighted. The outcome will be that participants will have an opportunity to explore how they can utilize the guidelines and principles in policy development and service delivery. This full day event will be held in ceremony and highlight cultural practices.

Child Intervention Practice Committee:
ALIGN sits at the CI Practice committee which is presently reviewing how to create consistencies and best practice around Cultural planning.

Elder Capacity Pilot
ALIGN sponsored 3 Elders to attend an Elder Capacity Building pilot and hosted 20 participants at a Cultural Solutions 201 session April 2017 through a grant from Children Services and is in continue discussions to help further the knowledge and practice capacity in these areas. The Purpose of the Elder Capacity Building Pilot is to build elders capacity in urban and rural First Nation settings, who are working with children and families who are at risk of being involved in the Child Intervention system, either through the Ministry of Child and Families or through contracted agencies in Alberta.

Youth in Care Mentoring (YIC) and Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP)
A three-year commitment has been made to the agencies that are piloting Youth in Care Mentoring.  We are currently working on documenting a service delivery model.  There has been an updated literature review completed and the pilots are working with the advisory group to look at consist parts of the delivery and what it takes to offer this program area

Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC)
ALIGN continues to sit on the CWLC Board.  The most recent activity is the National Forum on infant, child mental health in Calgary the first week of October.

Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD)
ALIGN has been working with the regional directors and agencies to get some consistency in services delivery and contracting.  Recently the minimum wage increases have been of concern.  I believe the government will be making announcements shortly on how to help with this shortfall.  FSCD children being in group care is also an area we are exploring to ensure that those children get the right services and the agencies are clear about the mandate with FSCD children and how to work with their families.

 

The Procurement Advisory Table (PAT) Final Report to the Ministers of Community and Social Services and Children’s Services August 2017

Update September 2017

Procurement, contracting and contracts continue to be a bit of a ambiguous.  We have met with the DM and Minister regarding the need to have contracts move forward.  We were told that in reality little will move until the Child Intervention Panel concludes and makes recommendations.  We continue to advocate that parts of the system still can be procured, or negotiated.

Procurement Advisory Table – Final Report August 2017

The Procurement Advisory Table (PAT) provided its Final Report to the Ministers of Community and Social Services and Children’s Services. The report includes recommendations for the departments to consider for designing and implementing future contracting approaches.

Arrangements are underway to schedule a meeting involving ALIGN (Rhonda Barraclough) ECVO (Russ Dahms)  ACDS (Andrea Hesse) and Deputy Ministers for both Ministry of Children’s Services and Community and Support Services Shannon Marchand and Darlene Bouwsema the second week of September to determine a course of action going forward considering changes that have occurred since the report was tabled in December.

Related

Response from Minister Sabir to PAT Co-Chair,  Russ Dahms

Terms of Reference

Membership List

Previous PAT Updates

See ALIGN Directory of Contracting News

 

 

A “Sneak Peak” of AMP New Indigenous Mentoring Resources

SNEAK PEAK: Resources for Mentoring Refugee, Immigrant & Newcomer Children and Youth

To access the resource one more step is required. Please fill in your contact information to assist in the role-out and evaluation of our new resource. AMP will not share your information, it is only for internal tracking purposes. In the next few months they will send you a brief survey asking for feedback.


Notice to Members  from Michael Jan August 1, 2017

AMP partners work to expand and enhance quality youth mentoring programs for young adults across Alberta.  Here is an exclusive opportunity for a “Sneak Peak” of the new Indigenous Mentoring resources. You might use different language or program labels other than mentoring, but the principles and considerations outlined in the document are valuable for any program that supports Indigenous or non-Indigenous relationships. Share your feedback with Michael Janz michael.janz@albertamentors.ca about how this can be further mobilized into the community.

While ALIGN is a valued “Builder Partner” of the AMP (and Rhonda Barraclough is a member of the Leadership Team), each individual agency should be listed as a AMP Partner! If you have not done so already, please take a moment and fill out our “Partner contact form” so AMP can promote your work and your agency and you can take advantage of our volunteer recruitment capacity! Don’t worry, there is no charge because we are a no-fee partnership

ALIGN Association Strategic Directions Update – We Want to Hear From You!

Dear ALIGN Members,

I hope you are having a marvelous summer.  ALIGN is reviewing its strategic directions this summer with the goal of having a strategic plan completed this fall that will lead the way for the next few years.  Last week Nicole, Cathy and I held sessions in Lethbridge, Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton.  The feedback we heard has been incorporated into the Draft plan so far.  We want to hear for anyone else who may have great ideas.  So I have attached a draft of the plan and some of the directions members have been suggesting we move towards.  If you have any thoughts on these please or think of other things you would like to see us doing please add them to this document and send it back to me.

I would appreciate your thoughts by August 18.  After that we will be finalizing the plan and taking it to the Board of Directors.  Thank you for your participation and support. See you in the fall at the AGM  Sept 29, 2017

ALIGN Mission/Strategic Planning For Members Feedback

Rhonda Barraclough
rhondab@alignab.ca

Executive Director ALIGN Association

Review Panel Updates July 2017

NEW

Government responds to OCYA reports Minister Sarah Hoffman issued the following statement, on behalf of Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee, in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews released today: July 18, 2017

Alberta’s child-welfare system failed First Nations youth: report Globe and Mail July 19, 2017

Alberta government ‘not going to wait’ for feds to close First Nations child welfare gap July 20, 2017

Child advocate ‘concerned’ about government inaction on death recommendations Edmonton Journal July 19, 2017

Alberta’s child-welfare system failed First Nations youth: report Globe and Mail July 19, 2017

 

RECENTLY POSTED

Child Intervention Practices in Alberta Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention June 5 2017

ALIGN Partners in Child Intervention Child Intervention Panel Submission June 30, 2017

ALIGN:  Presentation to Child Intervention Review Panel (ppt) June 15, 2017

ALIGN Calgary Chapter Submission 1 – Working Relationships and Collaboration
ALIGN Calgary Chapter Submission 2 – The Practice of Child Intervention
ALIGN Calgary Chapter Submission 3 – Funding Community Agency Services A Sector in Crisis

 Inter-Agency Foster Care Committee (IFCC) Submission to Review Panel June 29 2017

Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta (CYCAA) Submission to Child Intervention Panel June 2017

VIEW ALL UPDATES & SUBMISSIONS HERE

Alberta Care Worker Safety Focused Inspection Program June 8 and September 30, 2017.

Dear Members,

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) announced a Care Worker Safety Focused Inspection Program which will take place between June 8 and September 30, 2017.

The program’s goal is to ensure workers and employers in the sector are aware of their rights and responsibilities to help create healthy and safe workplaces.  View the Care Worker Stakeholder Presentation 2017 ppt, that OHS presented to us which is quite informative and explains what they are going to be doing, the rationale and the how.

If you have any questions please contact Cathy Mitchell.

contractor with ALIGN at cathym@alignab.ca. Thank you.

ALIGN to Present at Child Intervention Review Panel. Member Submissions & Presentations Encouraged

May 10, 2017
Dear ALIGN Members,

Over the next few months we have an incredible opportunity to ensure that The Child Intervention Panel (currently tasked with reviewing and revising the current child welfare system in Alberta) are informed, encouraged, educated and influenced by agencies, educators and the families who receive service. ALIGN is preparing to make a presentation to the panel regarding the work that sector agencies do and the need for resourcing the valuable information agencies can contribute.  We expect that they will be interested in hearing from various sectors such as group care, kinship and foster care.

The Panel members currently have a basic knowledge regarding intergenerational trauma, the CORE story, child development, and the importance of early intervention among other areas of importance.  Over the next 2 months they have expressed interest in furthering their understanding and awareness in these and related areas. Your submissions and presentation will provide them further insights and assist them to better determine what they require additional information on.

It is likely that time lines for presentations will be very short; therefore, I would suggest that agencies collaborate if possible when making written submissions and include an offer to present if you feel it is appropriate.  Share your thoughts with the panel

A few recommendations:

I highly encourage you to listen to the live stream audio segments of the child intervention panel.  You can listen to them by going to Panel Meetings

  • If there a group of you doing the same or similar work and you feel that the panel needs to know about it, do a joint submission.
  • Don’t put too many issues into a submission. Try to keep it to one or two issues so that they can absorb the importance of your concern.  Make separate submissions for each topic area you want them to hear about.
  • Use the guideline on the website Share your thoughts with the panel
  • If there is research that backs up your point, attach it to the submission but don’t send books. Find relevant adequate article and send the link to them if you can.

ALIGN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REQUEST

If you are sending in a submission or presentations, please submit a copy to me at rhondab@alignab.ca  so we can include it on our ALIGN Review Panel Page  – this will assist members to avoid repetition.  The panel is only sitting to August 1, 2017 so don’t delay – if you want to say something now is the time!

Thank you, if you have any questions or want any advice on this please don’t hesitate to email or call me

 

Rhonda Barraclough
Executive Director ALIGN Association for Community Services
rhondab@alignab.ca 780 233.5459

 

For More Resources View  ALIGN Review Panel Page

ALIGN Membership Meeting Red Deer June 2, 2017

ALIGN Membership Meeting Red Deer June 2, 2017. An agenda will be sent out closer to the date. Registration is now open through Brown Paper Tickets and we hope to see many member agencies in attendance!

Human Service Worker Wellness and Safety Bulletin April 2017

ALIGN Association of Community Services knows our member agencies make employee safety and wellness a priority so here is a helpful  collection of research, tools and training that can support you in that effort.  At the bottom of this bulletin you will find direct links to the related ALIGN online directories where you can access additional resources.

ALIGN E.D. Correspondence – Alberta Community and Social Services Assistant Deputy Minister Announcement

(Correspondence To ALIGN Association April 12, 2017 from David Morhart  Deputy Minister Alberta Community and Social Services)

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of John Stinson as our new Assistant Deputy Minister for the Disability, Inclusion and Accessibility Division of Alberta Community and Social Services.  This role provides the strategic oversight of the department’s disabilities support programs, including the statutory director responsibilities, and will work closely with the Service Delivery Portfolio on the provision of supports to Albertans across the province.

John comes from Manitoba with an extensive background in the public service, including roles as Chief Executive Officer of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, CEO of the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, Vice-President of Acute Care and Planning with South Eastman Health, as well as roles within Manitoba Health and Treasury Board Secretariat.  John brings strong leadership skills in multi-stakeholder consensus building, strategic planning and community development.  He has led and championed cultural change within and across organizations and brings an effective interpersonal style, including a great sense of humour, that embraces collaborative engagement of staff, colleagues and stakeholders.

John will begin his new role on May 23.  In the interim, John Cabral will continue to cover in this role and will be key in transitioning the file on John S’s arrival.

Please join me in congratulating John S. in taking on this new role and in thanking John C. for his continued leadership before his transition back to Alberta Seniors and Housing.

David Morhart  Deputy Minister Alberta Community and Social Services

See More Related to Ministry Transition

 

ALIGN Executive Director Update Re: Alberta Budget 2017

March 19, 2017

Dear members:

Last week the government announced Budget 2017.  We have been capturing the relevant information for you and placing it on our website.  There will be more analysis this week but we thought we would share what we have learned to date.

This budget for Children’s Services and Community and Support Services basically is a maintain status quo budget for both ministries. Any increases that are mentioned are to meet current needs.  No increases or forecasted increases.

In Children’s Services most increases went to growth caseload areas; financial and support agreements and advancing futures bursary funds.  The 60 FTE’s announced are to be put into the system in these growth areas.  Exactly where is still to be determined.

Senior staff are optimistic that funds will come with future recommendations made by the Child Intervention Review Panel.

We have had conversations about procurement, contracts, and moving forward with the Minister and senior executives.  With the splitting of the ministries it has been a bit confusing about who will address the procurement table recommendations.  We have made it very clear that this activity needs to receive focus and cant wait for panels.  We are assured that discussions are underway to figure out a way forward for services in child intervention.

We also  feel it is very important that the Panel get an accurate picture of the entire system and recommendations for improvement. Please review the minutes and live casts. The meetings are open to the public.  I would encourage you to attend or at least listen to it.  If you feel an area needs to be highlighted please send in a submission.   www.childinterventionpanel.ca

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call rhondabarracloug@alignab.ca 780 485-3580

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Executive Director March 19, 2017

ALIGN Letter to The Honorable Joe Ceci Re RE: Contracted Sector for Children’s Services

On March 6, 2017 ALIGN Executive Director sent a letter to the Honorable Joe Ceci Minister of Finance & President of the Alberta Treasury Board regarding contracted sector.

Contracted Sector for Children’s Services Letter March 6, 2017

Excerpt 1
While FCSS funding has been substantially increased and that certainly helps, the funding for the agencies that provide services to the more vulnerable and those at risk of having their children enter care have not. These contracts have been stagnant for about 2 years or longer. We had been working with the Ministry of Human Services to find a way forward in the procurement activities to get to a better funding model and closer to true costs…

Excerpt 2
It is our request that you and the Ministers of Community and Social Services and Children’s Services consider a small injection of funds to at least bolster wages. There are many other areas like operating costs for example that need to be considered as well but at this moment the wages are paramount….

Healthy Workplaces Conference October 2017

Healthy Workplaces Conference 2017

Mark your calendars! The Healthy Workplaces Conference 2017 will occur on October 13, 2017 at the Lister Centre, University of Alberta. This province-wide conference will showcase the final results and provide tools for developing and implementing sustainable workplace wellness programs for non-profit human service agencies. Participation is open to all human services agencies in Alberta

As leaders and employees in the nonprofit human-services sector of Alberta, you are invited to participate in a province-wide educational and resource/networking conference marking the completion of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions project that ALIGN has been participating on (See below).  Join us for an exciting day of project results, policy framework descriptions, workshop opportunities, and professional networking.

Topics:  Employee engagement and wellness

Keynote:  Dr. Graham Lowe, “Redesigning Work to Support a Vibrant Workforce — Lessons for Human Services.”

Date:  Friday, October 13, 2017

Location:  Lister Centre, University of Alberta, 11613 87 Avenue NW, Edmonton AB

Time:  8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Cost:  $95 (Early bird before June 30), $125 Regular fee (All prices include the registration fee, coffee breaks and lunch.)

Conference Brochure

Conference Registration Web Page

SEE MORE

The Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions Project

Public Board Call

Premiers Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and the Provincial Parent Advisory for FSCD looking for applicants to sit on public board

Public Board Call FSCD and PCSPD March 2017 regarding a renewed focus on disability services and the request for people to apply to sit on the Premiers Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and the Provincial Parent Advisory for FSCD.  ALIGN Executive Director Rhonda Barraclough encourages those agencies  in  this area to have people from within your networks to apply.  The premiers council is trying to expand its reach and I think it would be  great way to ensure FSCD and families with persons who have disabilities in them get involved and can influence future directions of the services.  Also note the deadlines are very short.  So please let people know as soon as you can so they have time to apply.

Rhonda Barraclough
Executive Director


Contact Ms. Vicki Bertoia Director PCSPD Secretariat at 780 422-2726 or  Ms. Roxanne Gerbrandt,  Disability Support Branch FSCD PPAC at 780 408-8369

ALIGN Journal Volume 8 Fall 2017

Editorial – Being Called to Take Action and Being wicihasowin by
Research Paper – I Want to do Good so Bad: Exploring Health Capabilities
Pilot Project Review – Children and Youth in Care and Mentoring
Literature Review- Best Practices for Supporting High Risk Youth and Youth with  FASD in School:
Book Review- Redesigning Work: A Blueprint for Canada’s Future Well-Being and Prosperity
Case Study – Initial Steps in Developing a Meaningful Partnerships: A Case Study of Mahmawi-atoskiwin.

ALIGN and Sector News and Updates Feb 24, 2017

This bulletin includes news and updates for AB agencies serving children, youth and families. See what’s new with Ministry transition, Child Review Panel, Sole-Source Contracting and more!

AB Child Review Panel 2017

ALIGN REQUEST FOR AGENCY/EXPERTS PARTICIPATION
At the announcement of the Child intervention review panel ALIGN Board members and our ED crafted a letter to Premier Notely, the Minister at the Time, and the leaders of the opposition to remind them that child intervention should be a nonpartisan issue.  We also encouraged the panel have some experts from the field on it.  The new Minister has appointed Drs Bruce MacLaurin, University of Calgary, Peter Choate, Mount Royal University and Patty, Lubecan- Benson from Native Friendship Centre.  We feel this is a great place for local experts to have impact on the system and inform the those that are also sitting on the panel about the complex nature of this work.

NEWS

Ministerial Panel On Child Intervention Meeting 1 Summary

Ministerial Child Review Panel Feb 9, 2017 Minute 2nd mtg

All
Child Intervention Review Panel Articles, News and Updates

ALIGN Journal From Theory to Practice Residential Care for Children and Youth Special Edition Vol. 3 March 2017

This particular Special Edition is a compilation of the work that was created and presented at the
From Theory to Practice: Residential Care for Children and Youth Symposium April 28-29, 2016.
The ALIGN Association of Community Services co-hosted this learning event with the Ministry of
Human Services. The session was an opportunity for staff of both the Ministry and agencies to
come together and learn about several organizational models of residential care and how important
it is to use evidence informed practice in our care of these children and youth no matter the
environment. We explored how crucial the Foundations of Caregiver Support are and the significance
of developing meaningful relationships with the children we care for in order to assist the
change process. There was information shared about the effects early trauma and chronic stress
has on brain development and how we as caregivers can help undo some of the early harm done
to children.

CONTENT

Editorial Foundations of Caregiver Support – Jon Reeves

Growing Simple Interactions Inside Everyday Practice – Junlei Li

What Does It Mean to be Trauma Informed? From the Perspective of the Neurosequential Model. – Emily Wang, PH. D., R. Psych.

Sanctuary 101: An Overview of the Sanctuary Model – Ibet Hernandez

The Teaching-Family Model; An Evidenced Based Model – Michele Boguslofski

The CARE Program Model: Theory to Quality Practice in Residential Child Care -Jack Holden and Charles V. Izzo

ALIGN Youth Care Bulletin January 2017

If you work with youth this bulletin is for you! Included you will find resources, training and news to assist you with your youth program or youth in care initiatives

Important Sector Announcement and Updates Jan 2017

Important Sector Announcement and Updates Jan 2017
January has brought some significant changes to the sector including a new Child Services Minister, an announcement of who will be on the Child Intervention Review Panel and more!

Transitioning From Care Guide – Revised Edition

Now Available! Revised Edition (Please Note: This a large file and may take a minute or two to display)
Transitioning From Care Revised Version 2016
Jeff Solberg in collaboration with AASCF and AFPA. Developed to improves outcomes for youth in care and their caregiver

Human Services Evaluation Resource Bulletin Dec. 2016

This bulletin is full of great evaluation resources and tools to help support your organization with your evaluation efforts be they client, program or organizational. ALIGN serves a broad range of service providers within the human service sector so I’ve tried to include resources relevant to the varied needs of our members. Don’t forget to check out the great articles and training opportunities in the side bar too!

ALIGN Executive Directors Update October 2016

ALIGN Executive Directors Update October 2016
This document was presented to the Board of Directors at our last Board meeting. It is a comprehensive review of the work we are doing at ALIGN. The Board requested that I forward it to the members as a good Executive Director Update. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact myself, Nicole and Cathy at anytime. We want our members to be informed.

Rhonda Barraclough
Executive Director

ALIGN Leadership Development Program

Update September 2017

We are excited to announce that we can once again offer agency and individual leadership bursaries.  We will not be able to fund academic 2 year bursaries but agency can apply for up to $5,000.00 and individual leaders/supervisors can apply for training, workshops, etc up to $5,000.00.  This is only for the remainder of this fiscal year. More info coming soon!

 Update October 2016

ALIGN is in the beginning stages of creating a leadership development program. The final stages of the leadership bursary funds are depleted. At this point we will be closing the application process. We will need to complete a review of the outstanding bursaries and see if there is any money left to offer; otherwise, we will complete a final report this year. ALIGN will have sufficient funds for us to administer the pay out of outstanding bursaries. A request has gone forward for further bursary funds but no word at this time. A good news report will be completed and sent to the Minister. The ALIGN Board will determine if we develop further strategies looking at leadership in the sector and create a plan we can offer to agency leaders moving forward. This requires further discussion at the Board level. ALIGN E.D. and Board President have had discussion with the Banff Centre and currently  have an offer on the table.

Alberta Mentoring Partnership Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project

Update September 2017

Youth in Care Mentoring (YIC) and Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP)
A three-year commitment has been made to the agencies that are piloting Youth in Care Mentoring.  We are currently working on documenting a service delivery model.  There has been an updated literature review completed and the pilots are working with the advisory group to look at consist parts of the delivery and what it takes to offer this program area.

SNEAK PEAK: Resources for Mentoring Refugee, Immigrant & Newcomer Children and Youth

To access the resource one more step is required. Please fill in your contact information to assist in the role-out and evaluation of our new resource. AMP will not share your information, it is only for internal tracking purposes. In the next few months they will send you a brief survey asking for feedback.

 

Alberta Mentoring Partnership  Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project Update August 2017

Notice to Members  from Michael Jan August 1, 2017

AMP partners work to expand and enhance quality youth mentoring programs for young adults across Alberta.  Here is an exclusive opportunity for a “Sneak Peak” of the new Indigenous Mentoring resources. You might use different language or program labels other than mentoring, but the principles and considerations outlined in the document are valuable for any program that supports Indigenous or non-Indigenous relationships. Share your feedback with Michael Janz michael.janz@albertamentors.ca about how this can be further mobilized into the community.

While ALIGN is a valued “Builder Partner” of the AMP (and Rhonda Barraclough is a member of the Leadership Team), each individual agency should be listed as a AMP Partner! If you have not done so already, please take a moment and fill out our “Partner contact form” so AMP can promote your work and your agency and you can take advantage of our volunteer recruitment capacity! Don’t worry, there is no charge because we are a no-fee partnership

Alberta Mentoring Partnership  Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project Update October 2016
ALIGN sits at the Alberta Mentoring Partnership  leadership table and chairs the Youth in Care (YIC) Mentoring Project
The National Mentoring Conference: Mentoring is Catching On will be held in Nov 2016 and our project will be presenting there. We have also written an article that will be published in our next ALIGN Journal which will be of interest across Canada.

Indigenous Advisory Group

Update September 2017

The  ALIGN Indigenous Advisory Group  reconvened in the Fall of 2016 in order to gain some guidance in planning for the upcoming year. Some of the current recommendations that we are working on are:

  • It was suggested that we convene a circle of government decision makers and others to share what is being done in the research and community sectors.
  • To bring together a group who has a strong understanding of Trauma and Inter-generational Trauma to help guide the next step process.
  • A lot of Agencies have found ways that work for families and we should help highlight these approaches.

Update October 2016

ALIGN is presently reconvening and regrouping the Indigenous Advisory Group with a focus on becoming familiarized with the truth and reconciliation recommendations and the UN rights of children as well as meeting the new ADM for the Community Engagement area of the MHS currently working on engagement strategies to address the indigenous concerns of the child welfare system. Please stay tuned for further information in this important area of work.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Update – September 2017

Mental Health First Aid Grant (MHFA)
Both ALIGN and the AFPA have had the Mental Health First Aid grants extended till March 2018 as there are still funds available. The planning committee met in June 6, 2017 to look at our learning’s from last year and begin planning for 2017-2018 year. We have made arrangements to have Kevin Campbell provide two full days of training to caregivers on the importance of “Family Finding” for the children in their care. One day will occur in Calgary on January 23rd and the second January 24th in Edmonton. The committee has decided to charge a minimal fee to attend and subsidize child care this year.

A memo was sent out reminding agencies that this funding deadline March 31, 2018 and to utilize the funds if they have staff that needs the training.

Update January 2017

Mental Wellness for Children and Youth in Care: Support for the Caregiver Conference Edmonton January 25, 2017

The main theme of the Mental Wellness for Children and Youth in Care: Support for the Caregiver symposium was the mental wellness of children and youth in care, the use of psychotropic medications and how caregivers can become more knowledgeable in supporting these youths. Caregiver encompassed agency and department foster parents, kinship parents, adoptive parents, residential and group care staff. The theme of the day presented by culturally informed medical experts, is the mental wellness of children/youth in care and the use of psychotropic medications considering issues such as the child’s emotional, medical and cultural needs. Youth themselves and representatives from the Office of the Children’s Advocate presented. The day ended with a panel discussion. Presenters: Dr. Wanda Polzin; Clinical Director at CASA in Edmonton, AB Dr. Lana Potts; Family Physician Siksika Family Clinic and Jeffery Cheng and Sheena Stevens; CYS Mental Health Nurses.

Videos

Welcome & Introductions Mental Wellness for Children and Youth in Care: Support for the Caregiver Edmonton January 25, 2017

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Randy Baker, Lee Bowers & Adreana Brochu OCYA Representatives & Youth

Panel Discussion

The Importance of Caring for the Care Giver Dr. Wanda Polzin, MA, RSW, EdD Clinical Director – CASA

Understanding Psychotropic Medications for Children in Care Jeffrey Cheng /Sheena Stevens Nurse Consultants – CASA

Who We Are First Nations People in Alberta Dr. Lana Potts Family Physician

Celebrating and Supporting Diversity Presented by David Rust

Drugs 101 Jennie McLester

View All Conference Video’s

History

Because of the good work done by the Psychotropic Medication Committee who developed the “Pathways to Better Mental Health” resource, the same individuals were asked to participate on the MHFA symposium/ training committee. The committee members representing foster parents ALIGN, Ministry of Human Services, agencies, CASA, and the AFPA met on June 20, and August 11 and Sept 15 to discuss the symposium development and other training that will be helpful to support caregivers in the mental health area. “Caregiver” encompasses agency and department foster parents, kinship parents, adoptive parents, residential and group care staff.
The main theme of the symposium will be the mental wellness of youth in care, the use of psychotropic medications and how caregivers can become more knowledgeable in supporting these youths. We plan to have medical expertise as well as culturally informed individuals presenting. Representatives from the OCYA have agreed to present and this will include hearing from youths who are or who have experienced treatment with psychotropic medications. The presentation will include what worked, what didn’t work and what could caregivers do differently to support the youth better.

Workforce Alliance: Cross Association Workforce Survey

The Alberta Government: Workforce Alliance was launched in April 2012 to address support for a stable and sustainable workforce that meets the needs of children, families and adults with disabilities. It consists of government representatives and service providers, who work together to create a long-term plan for the workforce.

Alberta Human Services Workforce Alliance Strategic Plan – (2013 and revised 2016)
Building the Social Services Workforce of the Future April 2013 Submitted by: Human Services Workforce Alliance

ALIGN Workforce Alliance Update October 2016
ALIGN was previously requested by the Workforce Alliance to complete a cross association workforce survey but it is unclear at this time if this will proceed as it seems to be less of a government priority following reorganization of the Ministry

The Extent of the “Main Associations Contracted” Sector Prepared by Boles Consulting May 2015
A significant component of the nongovernment social service sector, including non-profit and for-profit agencies, enters into contract and grant funded agreements with the Ministry of Human Services to deliver services to vulnerable individuals and families. Most of the agencies hold membership(s) in one or more of 4 associations which commit to supporting their efforts and promoting the delivery of quality services. The group of agencies is identified here as the “Main Associations Contracted” sector and referred to as the “MA Sector” or “Sector”. The 4 associations, their members, and the Ministry of Human Services have a collective interest in describing the Sector…

AASCF (ALIGN) Review of Provincial Budget 2015
The Workforce Alliance continues to work as a joint government and community committee that gives advice to the Ministry on issues of workforce. WE sit at that table and continue to advocate strongly for a healthy viable human services contracted workforce

AASCF (ALIGN) 2014 Membership Survey Results & Analysis Boles Consulting
Includes data on impact on wage increases, workforce turnover, retention and recruitment and related workforce information.

AASCF (ALIGN) Annual Report 2013/2014
Workforce Challenges/ Issues and Efforts to Date
The Workforce Alliance remains a viable committee. At this time it is considering what a healthy workforce is and what it can do to work towards developing that. Currently a literature review of this area is underway and some data is being gathered to draw a picture of the sector including the agencies that sit within AASCF, ACDS, AWSA, AHVNA. This is collaborative work that is being conducted with government input as well.

Over the past year the focus has been on wage increases, contracting and looking at ways to make contracts more consistent and flexible, and training in various parts of the sector.
Wage increases:

Generally speaking in 2012/2013 there were $1500.00 bonuses for front line delivery staff and a 5% increase in wages. There was some variation on this in certain sectors. At the time it included Women’s Shelters, Child and Family services contracted agencies and agencies contracting to provide PDD services, and brain injury providers

AASCF (ALIGN) Membership Minutes 2013
Workforce Alliance – This is a provincial committee because the Premier and ministers decided this sector is important and they need to deal with our issues and concerns.  Even though there was a bad news budget they kept their commitment.  The work that needed to be done couldn’t be done without this sector.  We have come a long way in the last 5 years.The agencies will be given the task on how the wage increase money will be allocated.  There is another wage increase year but accountability and responsibility comes with the money.  As they continue to invest money in this sector they need information from us on what a difference the increases are making.  We will be sending out a survey to gather this information.  Operational costs have been discussed is a separate issue.

Alberta Workforce Updates & News
AB Human Services Contracting
ALIGN Reports
Provincial Budgets

Child Intervention Practice Framework

Update September 2017

Child Intervention Practice committee is presently reviewing how to create consistencies and best practice provincially. This committee consists of Regional managers. ALIGN and the AFPA.
See index for related topics

 Update October  2016
Agencies were asked to submit a PQR in 2016 and were required to answer if they would be providing “Trauma Informed” programming. Through the work of the document of Foundation of Caregiver Support it is the expectation of CFS that anyone providing services will be Trauma – Informed in their practice. This term used in conjunction of the understanding of the three pillars of the Foundation of Caregiver Support are expected to provide clarity to the sectors providing front line services.

Nicole McFadyen (ALIGN) has spent the last few months attending several different “Trauma Informed” training sessions. Some have been Provincial intiatives like the Neurosquential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) funded by the Alberta Children and Family Sevices and provided by Hull Child and Family Services. Others, have been Trauma Informed Training from Early Childhood Development Support Services (ECDSS) , as well as Alberta Health Services Trauma training webinar. All courses do provide information regarding the Core Story, Brain Development and Trauma. They do provide information on working with individuals who have experienced trauma and the neruodevelopmetnal approach to understanding these individuals. Some also look at how being a caregiver in the field provides exposure to vicarious trauma and Trauma Informed practice from an organizational level. Presently the Palix Foundation is working on their own Trauma training series. The Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Care Centre is also developing an online Trauma Awareness Training. In collaborative conversation with Agencies, CFS, Palix Foundation and the Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Care Centre and the Foundation of Caregiver Support Steering Committee (FOCS), there has been some agreement that the general term may be providing misunderstandings with regards to the overall definition and/or terms of references for the term “Trauma Informed ” practice. Presently we are meeting to work out a definition that will give everyone a better understanding of where individual sector practices sit on the spectrum.

The FOCS is doing a literature review to look at different Evidence – based models of therapy that are Trauma-Informed. The committee has also requested advisory from the Provincial Collaboration table for future recommendations and direction. Children and Families Services division has completed the development of 101 training to look at 4 main areas from this document. The Core Story of Brain Development, Grief and Loss and Trauma, Stress and the Developing Brain. This 101 training series is presently being piloted the AFPA Fall 2016 conference and the ALIGN 2017 January conference. They will be requesting feedback from participants in order to make changes to the curriculum as the pilot rolls out over the next several months. The developers are also in the beginning phases of providing a fifth module to look at Multigenerational trauma through an Indigenous lens. The 101 training series working group has invited ALIGN to join the group to provide review and input into the training curriculum and delivery. This group is meeting later this fall to work on implementations of participant feedback.

Alberta Human Services Enhancement Policy Manual (Manual) 2016 contains policies and procedures that direct casework staff when delivering services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA). The policies have been written in a second person active voice and directly address casework staff unless another role is specifically identified. The Manual is comprised of three distinct parts: Enhancement Policy Manual – Intervention, Enhancement Policy Manual – Placement Resources, and Enhancement Policy Manual – Adoption…

2015

Alberta Human Services Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF) Focus on Aboriginal community conversations, the policy and legislative review of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Child Intervention Practice Framework (CIPF)

2014

Ministerial Roundtable: Investigations and Reporting of Deaths and Serious Injuries Summary Report (April 2014)

Roundtable reading and resources

CIPF Engagement Summary Results of Stakeholder Engagement on the Child Intervention Practice Framework Principles Child and Family Services Division Results of Stakeholder, October 2013 – February 2014

Revised Enhancement Policy Manual (Manual) November 2014
Contains policies and procedures that direct casework staff when delivering services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA). The policies have been written in a second person active voice and directly address casework staff unless another role is specifically identified.

Child Intervention Forum May 2014
Video’s From Child Intervention Research Forum – May 1, 2014

CIPF Stakeholder Engagement
CIPF Engagement Summary – Results of Stakeholder Engagement on the Child Intervention Practice Framework Principles, October 2013 – February 2014

Child Intervention Round Table

Health, Wellness and Safety in the Child and Family Services Sector

Update September 2017

Health and Safety in the Child and Family Services Sector:
ALIGN continues to be a partner on the research team of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions Project. Join us for the Healthy Workplace Conference Edmonton October 13, 2017  Graham Lowe author of “Creating Healthy Organizations” will be the key note speaker. A second voluntary survey is currently being completed by human services staff to allow for a comparison with the findings of the first survey results of 2 years ago.  The results of this research, surveys and training will be presented at the fall conference.

We met with a representative for the Ministry of Labor in the Partnership Unit in the spring who recommended ALIGN explore the possibility of a collaborative relationship with the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships(AASP) as a Certifying Partner. Conversations with the ED of the AASP have occurred and the plan is to apply jointly for grant funding from the Ministry of Labor to provide interested agencies with a series of training sessions (referred to as “The Roadmap to COR”) to obtain a Certificate of Recognition. Concurrently we will meet with agencies who have successfully obtained their COR and see what we can learn from them to pass on to other agencies.

We have also begun researching information on the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.  We think there is other work that can be done and agencies can benefit from that is not to the extreme of COR yet may help with WCB rates.  That will be developed over the next 6 months.

 

Update May 2017

Healthy Workplaces Research Team Meeting Tue May 30, 2017 9am – 12pm
Contact: ttbarker@ualberta.ca

AGENDA
Preview preliminary survey results
Review Conference plans
Review end-of-project plans It appears that our original goal to “influence” provincial wellness policy needs to be altered: we want to “be” provincial wellness policy. This means that we need to undertake a campaign to encourage the Ministry of Labour to take up our Healthy Workplaces Framework as its recommended framework. To do this we need your help to develop a clear strategy with action items for the rest of the year. Your contribution is vital, as it has been throughout the entire project.

Survey Open Now! – 2nd Round
Workplace Health Survey of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions (HWHP) project.

Healthy Workplaces Intervention Framework: We are beginning to see a framework that we can make available to non-profit human-services sector agencies in 2017.

Now Open for Registration – The Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions

Healthy Workplaces Conference 2017

Mark your calendars! The Healthy Workplaces Conference 2017 will occur on October 13, 2017 at the Lister Centre, University of Alberta. This province-wide conference will showcase the final results and provide tools for developing and implementing sustainable workplace wellness programs for non-profit human service agencies. Participation is open to all human services agencies in Alberta

As leaders and employees in the nonprofit human-services sector of Alberta, you are invited to participate in a province-wide educational and resource/networking conference marking the completion of the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions project that ALIGN has been participating on (See below).  Join us for an exciting day of project results, policy framework descriptions, workshop opportunities, and professional networking.

Topics:  Employee engagement and wellness

Keynote:  Dr. Graham Lowe, “Redesigning Work to Support a Vibrant Workforce — Lessons for Human Services.”

Date:  Friday, October 13, 2017

Cost:  $95 (Early bird before June 30), $125 Regular fee (All prices include the registration fee, coffee breaks and lunch.)

Conference Brochure

Conference Registration Web Page

Related

Five Ways to Reduce Stress at Human-Services Work. Ideas from participants of our Be a Wellness Leader Workshops to make the office a place you want to go every day.

Wellness Program Ideas for Your Workplace. Our infographic lists wellness program ideas suggested by participants of our Be a Wellness Leader Workshops. Any wellness initiatives must be developed based on and evaluated against the Five Wellness Pillars, following the Wellness Cycle.

The Healthy Workplaces Framework Infographic. 

The Healthy Helping Cycle  Healthy Helping Cycle This article explains the relationship between the process of client assistance and health and the growth of a vibrant, healthy organization.

Be a Wellness Leader Workshop Slides.  Take good notes

Health Risk Daily Assessment This tool provides a way for front-line staff to assess risks on a daily basis.

The Helping Cycle this tool provides a way for front-line staff and supervisors to assess risks in specific situations and to find ways to grow challenges into strengths rather than hazards into stress.

Welcome to the Be a Wellness Leader Workshop.
The following items have been developed by the Healthy Workplaces Project Team members and tested at conferences and in the Winter 2016 BWL Workshop Series. They are presented here for the use by non‐profit human‐service agencies in Alberta. There is no charge for their use and they are presented “as is.” The workshop is intended to be a half‐day or 2‐3 hour format and presenters can adjust the time to the situation. There is no cost for the materials.

Workplace Health and Wellness-The Next Step in Workplace Productivity
Presented at ALIGN Chapter Meeting, Norwood Centre, November 5, 2016

Learning From Employees The Healthy Workplaces Research Summary Report By Thomas Barker, Project Lead Hoa Tran, Research Coordinator July, 2016 (ALIGN Partnership)

See OHS Library

 

Signs of Safety/Family Finding Updates

ALIGN Signs of Safety

Fall 2016 Nicole McFadyen (ALIGN) has been invited to sit on the Signs of Safety working group. Updates to come in this area.

Signs of Safety Is an innovative strengths-based, safety-organized approach to child protection casework. The model of its approach was created in Western Australia by Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards, who worked with over 150 front-line statutory practitioners and based it on what those practitioners know works well with difficult cases. The Signs of Safety approach has attracted international attention and is being used in jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Australasia

See News and Resources for Signs of Safety

Child Welfare League of Canada Board Member Updates

Update September 2017

ALIGN continues to sit on the CWLC Board.  The most recent activity is the National Forum on infant, child mental health in Calgary the first week of October.

Update October 2016

Meeting PEI June 2016
We met with Cindy Blackstock for the First Nation Caring Society about how the CWLC can support the activities of the FNCS and their work with the truth and reconciliation recommendations and moving the agenda forward for indigenous children. CWLC wrote a letter of support and is trying to be strategic in its activities going forward.

Child and Youth Services (CYS) Contract Updates

Update – August 2016

First-quarter, sole-source government service contracts disclosed The Government of Alberta’s online database has been updated with service contracts awarded outside a formal competition process during the last fiscal quarter.

Procurement Advisory Table The Agency and Human Services Procurement Advisory Table (PAT) is intended to provide a platform for informal, focused dialogue between Human Services and a small group of leaders from the service provider sector about the ministry’s contracting and procurement practices. The PAT provides an opportunity to leverage the experience, ideas and influence of these sector leaders on the design and implementation of future-state contracting strategies or approaches. The development of these strategies will align with Human Services’ goal of integrated service delivery, and support service delivery partnerships that are efficient, effective and achieve the outcomes Albertans need and expect.

Terms of Reference

Membership List

Update CYS and the Service Delivery Regions – Where Things Are At June 2016
Edmonton and Calgary either have or will be raising the following issues with ALIGN

Child and Youth Services (CYS) Contract Templates: Summary of April 21, 2016 Discussion (ALIGN and Human Services) and Recommendations

Innovations in Outcome Based Service Deliver in Calgary, Alberta February 2015 by Susan Gardiner, Bruce MacLaurin and Jon Reeves

 

Human Services Annual Report 2015-16

Human Services Annual Report 2015-16
The ministry’s annual report for the year ended March 31, 2016, was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act and the government’s accounting policies.
All of the government’s policy decisions as at June 3, 2016 with material economic or fiscal implications of which I am aware have been considered in the preparation of this report…

Honourable Irfan Sabir Minister of Human Services June 2016

 

ALIGN Bulletin – Alberta Budget 2017

Hi Everyone – The following includes communications, news, updates and sector responses to the Alberta Budget 2017. View Here

ALIGN Executive Director Update Re: Alberta Budget 2017
Danielle Larivee Minister Children’s Services March 16, 2017
Budget 2017 Briefing For Community And Social Services Stakeholders.
Alberta Budget 2017 Inclusion Alberta Response
CCVO Budget 2017 Holds the Line on Spending March 17, 2017
Alberta Government Alberta Budget 2017

Wage Freezes for Alberta Agencies, Boards and Commissions 2016

Wage Freezes for Alberta Agencies, Boards and Commissions The freeze will be in effect for two years, beginning April 1, 2016. The freeze applies to all agencies, boards and commissions listed under Alberta’s Public Agencies Governance Act. List of agencies, boards and commissions impacted

ALIGN Annual Report 2015

I am sure you have noticed it has been a busy year. Very busy! Fortunately, it has been
a good busy. Good because it reflects all the work we are doing, how we are engaged,
and how we are contributing to our sector in so many ways, training, planning, and
developing new approaches.

A major undertaking this year has been our rebranding as ALIGN Association of
Community Services. This is a brand which reflects our strength, Together for Children
and Families. We are aligned with each other and those who share our goals the
sustainable delivery of services to vulnerable children and families in Alberta. Our logo
expresses these theme further, star trails in circular alignment, diversity, and the ripple
effect of our work.

Thanks to our staff, partners, and our members for your contribution this past year, and
in the year to come.

Jim Pritchard
President
ALIGN Association of Community Services